58-44-16. Fire insurance policies; standard fire insurance policy provisions.

(a) The provisions of a fire insurance policy, as set forth in subsection (f) of this section, shall be known and designated as the "standard fire insurance policy."

(b) With the exception of policies covering (i) automobile fire, theft, comprehensive, and collision or (ii) marine and inland marine insurance, no fire insurance policy shall be made, issued, or delivered by any insurer or by any agent or representative of the insurer on any property in this State, unless it conforms in substance with all of the provisions, stipulations, agreements, and conditions in subsection (f) of this section.

(c) There shall be printed at the head of the policy the name of the insurer or insurers issuing the policy; the location of the home office of the insurer or insurers; a statement whether the insurer or insurers are stock or mutual corporations or are reciprocal insurers. This section does not limit an insurer to the use of any particular size or manner of folding the paper upon which the policy is printed; provided, however, that any insurer organized under special charter provisions may so indicate upon its policy and add a statement of the plan under which it operates in this State.

(d) The standard fire insurance policy need not be used for effecting reinsurance between insurers.

(e) The provisions of the standard fire policy are stated in this section and shall be incorporated in fire insurance policies subject to this section. If any conditions of this section are construed to be more liberal than any other policy conditions relating to the perils of fire, lightning, or removal, the provisions of this section shall apply.

(f) The following subdivisions comprise all of the provisions, stipulations, agreements, and conditions of the standard fire insurance policy:

(1) General provisions. - In consideration of the provisions, stipulations, agreements, and conditions in this policy or added to this policy, and of the premium specified in the declarations or in endorsements made a part of this policy, this insurer, for the term of years specified in the declarations from inception date shown in the declarations at 12:01 A.M. to expiration date shown in the declarations at 12:01 A.M. at the location of the property covered, to an amount not exceeding the limit of liability specified in the declarations, does insure the insured named in the declarations and legal representatives to the extent of the actual cash value of the property at the time of loss but not exceeding the amount that it would cost to repair or replace the property with material of like kind and quality within a reasonable time after the loss, without allowance for any increased cost of repair or reconstruction by reason of any ordinance or law regulating construction or repair and without compensation for loss resulting from interruption of business or manufacture, nor in any event for more than the interest of the insured against all direct loss by fire, lightning, and other perils insured against in this policy, including removal from premises endangered by the perils insured against in this policy, except as hereinafter provided, to the property described in the declarations while located or contained as described in this policy, or pro rata for five days at each proper place to which any of the property shall necessarily be removed for preservation from the perils insured against in this policy but not elsewhere. Assignment of this policy shall not be valid except with the written consent of this insurer. This policy is made and accepted subject to the provisions, stipulations, agreements, and conditions in this section, which are hereby made a part of this policy, together with such other provisions, stipulations, agreements, and conditions that may be added to this policy as provided in this policy.

(2) Concealment or fraud. - This entire policy shall be void if, whether before or after a loss, the insured has willfully concealed or misrepresented any material fact or circumstance concerning this insurance or the subject of this insurance, or the interest of the insured in the subject of this insurance, or in the case of any fraud or false swearing by the insured relating the subject of this insurance.

(3) Uninsurable and excepted property. - This policy shall not cover accounts, bills, currency, deeds, evidences of debt, money, or securities; nor, unless specifically named in this policy in writing, bullion or manuscripts.

(4) Perils not included. - This insurer shall not be liable for loss by fire or other perils insured against in this policy caused, directly or indirectly, by enemy attack by armed forces, including action taken by military, naval, or air forces in resisting an actual or an immediately impending enemy attack; invasion; insurrection; rebellion; revolution; civil war; usurped power; order of any civil authority except acts of destruction at the time of and for the purpose of preventing the spread of fire, provided that the fire did not originate from any of the perils excluded by this policy; neglect of the insured to use all reasonable means to save and preserve the property at and after a loss, or when the property is endangered by fire in neighboring premises; or for loss by theft.

(5) Other insurance. - Other insurance may be prohibited or the amount of insurance may be limited by endorsement attached to this policy.

(6) Conditions suspending or restricting insurance. - Unless otherwise provided in writing added to this policy, this insurer shall not be liable for loss occurring:

a. While the hazard is increased by any means within the control or knowledge of the insured;

b. While a described building, whether intended for occupancy by owner or tenant, is vacant or unoccupied beyond a period of 60 consecutive days; or

c. As a result of explosion or riot, unless fire ensues, and in that event for loss by fire only.

(7) Other perils or subjects. - Any other peril to be insured against or subject of insurance to be covered in this policy shall be by endorsement in writing on this policy or added to this policy.

(8) Added provisions. - The extent of the application of insurance under this policy and of the contribution to be made by this insurer in case of loss, and any other provision or agreement not inconsistent with the provisions of this policy, may be provided for in writing added to this policy; provided, however, no provision may be waived except such as by the terms of this policy is subject to change.

(9) Waiver provisions. - No permission affecting this insurance shall exist, or waiver of any provision be valid, unless granted in this policy or expressed in writing added to this policy. No provision, stipulation, or forfeiture shall be held to be waived by any requirement or proceeding on the part of this insurer relating to appraisal or to any examination provided for in this policy.

(10) Cancellation of policy. - This policy shall be cancelled at any time at the request of the insured, in which case this insurer shall, upon demand and surrender of this policy, refund the excess of paid premium above any short rates for the expired time. This policy may be cancelled at any time by this insurer by giving to the insured a five days' written notice of cancellation with or without tender of the excess of paid premium above the pro rata premium for the expired time, which excess, if not tendered, shall be refunded on demand. Notice of cancellation shall state that said excess premium (if not tendered) will be refunded on demand.

(11) Mortgagee interests and obligations. - If loss is made payable, in whole or in part, to a designated mortgagee not named in this policy as the insured, such interest in this policy may be cancelled by giving to such a mortgagee a ten days' written notice of cancellation. If the insured fails to render proof of loss, the mortgagee, upon notice, shall render proof of loss as specified in this policy within 60 days thereafter and shall be subject to the provisions of this policy relating to appraisal and time of payment and of bringing suit. If this insurer claims that no liability existed as to the mortgagor or owner, it shall, to the extent of payment of loss to the mortgagee, be subrogated to all the mortgagee's rights of recovery, but without impairing the mortgagee's right to sue; or this insurer may pay off the mortgage debt and require an assignment of that debt and of the mortgage. Other provisions relating to the interests and obligations of the mortgagee may be added to this policy by agreement in writing.

(12) Pro rata liability. - This insurer shall not be liable for a greater proportion of any loss than the amount insured by this policy bears to all insurance covering the property against the peril involved, whether collectible or not.

(13) Requirements in case loss occurs. - The insured shall give immediate written notice to this insurer of any loss, protect the property from further damage, forthwith separate the damaged and undamaged personal property, put it in the best possible order, and furnish a complete inventory of the destroyed, damaged, and undamaged property, showing in detail quantities, costs, actual cash value, and amount of loss claimed. Within 60 days after the loss, unless that time is extended in writing by this insurer, the insured shall render to this insurer a proof of loss, signed and sworn to by the insured, stating the knowledge and belief of the insured as to the following: the time and origin of the loss, the interest of the insured and of all others in the property, the actual cash value of each item of the property and the amount of loss to the property, all encumbrances on the property, all other contracts of insurance, whether valid or not, covering any of the property, any changes in the title, use, occupation, location, possession, or exposures of the property since the issuing of this policy, by whom and for what purpose any building described in this policy and the several parts of the building were occupied at the time of loss and whether or not it then stood on leased ground, and shall furnish a copy of all the descriptions and schedules in all policies and, if required, verified plans and specifications of any building, fixtures, or machinery destroyed or damaged. The insured, as often as may be reasonably required, shall exhibit to any person designated by this insurer all that remains of any property described in this policy, and submit to examinations under oath by any person named by this insurer, and subscribe the same; and, as often as may be reasonably required, shall produce for examination all books of account, bills, invoices, and other vouchers, or certified copies of them if originals are lost, at such reasonable time and place as may be designated by this insurer or its representative, and shall permit extracts and copies of them to be made.

(14) Appraisal. - If the insured and this insurer fail to agree as to the actual cash value or the amount of loss, then, on the written demand of either, each shall select a competent and disinterested appraiser and notify the other of the appraiser selected within 20 days after the demand. The appraisers shall first select a competent and disinterested umpire; and failing for 15 days to agree upon a competent and disinterested umpire, on the request of the insured or this insurer, a competent and disinterested umpire shall be selected by a judge of a court of record in the state in which the property covered is located. The appraisers shall then appraise the loss, stating separately actual cash value and loss to each item; and, failing to agree, shall submit only their differences to the umpire. An award in writing, so itemized, of any two when filed with this insurer shall determine the amount of actual cash value and loss. Each appraiser shall be paid by the party selecting him and the expenses of appraisal and umpire shall be paid by the parties equally.

(15) Company's options. - It shall be optional with this insurer to take all, or any part, of the property at the agreed or appraised value and also to repair, rebuild, or replace the property destroyed or damaged with other of like kind and quality within a reasonable time, on giving notice of its intention so to do within 30 days after the receipt of the proof of loss required in this policy.

(16) Abandonment. - There can be no abandonment to this insurer of any property.

(17) When loss payable. - The amount of loss for which this insurer may be liable shall be payable 60 days after proof of loss, as provided in this policy, is received by this insurer and ascertainment of the loss is made either by written agreement between the insured and this insurer or by the filing with this insurer of an award as provided in this policy.

(18) Suit. - No suit or action on this policy for the recovery of any claim shall be sustainable in any court of law unless all the requirements of this policy have been complied with and unless commenced within three years after inception of the loss.

(19) Subrogation. - This insurer may require from the insured an assignment of all rights of recovery against a party for loss to the extent that payment therefor is made by this insurer. (2009-171, s. 1.)